ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio field hockey team (1-3, 0-0 MAC) is set to continue the non-conference portion of the 2017 season at home this weekend when the Bobcats compete with VCU (2-1, 0-0 A10) on Saturday and Sunday.
Ohio will battle the Rams on Saturday (Sept. 9) at 12 p.m. ET at Pruitt Field. The Bobcats and VCU will finish the series on Sunday (Sept. 10) at 1 p.m. in Athens, Ohio.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats went 0-2 during the second weekend of the 2017 season. Ohio suffered a tough 1-0 loss to Cornell on Friday (Sept. 1), followed by a hard fought 3-0 loss to No. 5 Syracuse on Sunday (Sept. 3).
Alex Pennington (Easton, Pa.) finished the weekend with 15 saves. The junior recorded 12 saves in the match against Syracuse, facing 16 shots on the day from an undefeated squad.
The Bobcats would record four shots on the game while Syracuse tallied 20 as well as one penalty corner. Spinetto, Ballard, Russell and Farr would each tally one shot on the game for Ohio. The Bobcats would record two shots on the game with Cornell along with three penalty corners on the day. Spinetto and Russell each recorded a single shot for Ohio, both were also shots on goal. Ohio was the closest team to scoring against the Orange this season.
MACMILLAN RETURNS FOR 13TH SEASON
Neil Macmillan is at the helm for his 13th season at Ohio. The Portsmouth, England, native sports an all-time record of 125-116 and has led the Bobcats to four MAC titles, 2006, '07, '09 and '11, during his tenure. He is the longest-tenured head coach in Mid-American Conference field hockey and notched his name in the record books as the all-time winningest coach in Ohio field hockey history last season.
The Bobcats return junior Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.), who earned First Team All-Mid-American Conference and Second Team All-Region honors while she also earned a spot on the U.S. U-21 National Team with USA Field Hockey. She led the Bobcats with a career-high 12 goals, 28 points, 55 shots and 31 shots on goal. Ballard also finished tied for second on the squad in assists (4), which was also a career-high. Ballard finished in the top-10 in the Mid-American Conference in shots (9th), points (5th), goals (5th) and assists (10th) during the 2016 season.
Senior Maria Russell (Hudson, Ohio) also returns to the Bobcat lineup for 2017. She received Second Team All-MAC recognition following the 2016 season. Russell finished in a tie for second on Ohio with six goals and was second on the squad in shots on goal with 15. Russell also ranked third on the team in shots (21) and points (14) while adding two assists to bring her career total to three. Russell now has 20 career goals to start her senior season.
Ohio's 2016 roster features six new players,-- Claire Buckey(Powell, Ohio), Peyton Taylor (Catonsville, Md.), Emma Spinnetto(Louisville, Ky.), Samara Schratz (McMurray, Pa.), Annmarie Hoppel (Fredricksburg, Va.) and Leah Warren(Hamilton, New Zeland).
BOBCATS PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN MAC PRESEASON POLL
The Ohio field hockey team has been picked to place fourth in the league standings in the 2017 Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, the league office announced.
The Bobcats received 19 points to tie with Ball State to finish fourth in the poll.
Defending league champion Kent State was picked to win the MAC by way of 41 points – including six first-place votes. The Golden Flashes were also picked to win the conference's tournament championship. Miami garnered 35 points to place second in the poll and also received one first-place vote. Longwood would fall in the third spot with 25 points.
Appalachian State and Central Michigan each tied for sixth place with four points each to round out the poll.
VCU SCOUTING REPORT
Ohio currently leads the series with VCU 4-1. The Bobcats defeated the Rams in 2015 in a 3-2 win while on the road. The Rams have started the 2017 season with two wins and a single loss. VCU's loss came in its last game against MAC-foe Longwood. In its matchup with Longwood, VCU would win in shooting 12-7 and 6-4 in shots on goal. Leading the way for the Rams is Emily McNamara. McNamara recorded eight shots and four shots on goal against Longwooed while Chessa Kownurko recorded three saves on the game for the Rams.
After the weekend, Ohio will continue the home slate of the 2017 schedule. The Bobcats are set to host MAC-foe Miami (Ohio) on Friday (Sept. 15) at 12 p.m. followed by competition with Ohio State on Sunday (Sept. 17) at 1 p.m. after seeing the Buckeyes for a pre-season scrimmage earlier this year.